Proctor loves taking centre stage at Saints

Matt Proctor is savouring everything about this season at Saints.

By Tom Vickers
Wednesday, 1st December 2021, 2:45 pm
Matt Proctor
Matt Proctor

And the Kiwi centre is now eager to help his side further their Gallagher Premiership top-four bid against Bath on Saturday.

Aside from a recent hand problem and having to come back from concussion, Proctor has been a mainstay in the Saints midfield during the current campaign.

Whereas he had previously been utilised on the wing, Proctor is now a fixture in the 13 shirt, starting five times in that position this season.

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And that is not the only reason he is happy with how the current campaign is going.

He said: “I kind of prefer playing at centre more than the wing because I understand what I need to do and how to get into the game.

“I've been enjoying my time there but I don't really mind where I'm playing as long as I'm on the field and in the game.

“I'm loving my time here.

“Everyone has been welcoming from the start.

“Last year was quite hard with Covid because it was a bit disjoined so that made it hard but everything's back to normal.

“The crowds are back and everything's the way it was before so it's enjoyable.”

Proctor was back in action last Friday night, having been rested for the Premiership Rugby Cup weeks.

And he said: “For me it was just nice to get back playing again.

“I obviously didn't play during that international break and you get itchy feet when you're watching the boys play.

“You want to get back out there and be part of it so it was nice to take the field again.

“My hand's feeling alright now. It's still a bit sore but it's a lot better than it was.

“It was nice to give the body a rest for a couple of weeks because the games always seem to take their toll.

“But this season it's been nice to get a good run of games and stay injury free. Picking up little niggles here and there has what's let me down in the past, but so far it's been good.”

Proctor now has his feet firmly under the table at Saints, having made some good friends since arriving from the Hurricanes during the summer of 2019.

An example of the close-knit nature of the Northampton squad came in Cardiff last month, when several Saints stars went to watch Dan Biggar, Sam Matavesi and Api Ratuniyarawa scrap it out in Wales' clash with Fiji.

“We got a little mini-van of us and drove down to Cardiff to support the boys,” Proctor explained.

“There's a good culture in the club, all the boys get along with each other and that makes it easier.”

Now the Saints squad are setting their sights on beating a Bath team they have lost to in each of their past four meetings.

Bath will come to the Gardens on Saturday having lost all eight of their Premiership games this season.

And Proctor said: “Bath is a team we haven't had good results against since I've been here.

“I don't think we've beaten them since I've been here so that's three years - that speaks for itself.

“We've got some momentum now and we want to keep that going.

“There are a number of reasons why we need to get the win and hopefully the boys can lock in.”